In September, a federal judge found BP’s negligent and reckless behavior to be at fault for the 2010 BP oil spill, which killed 11 people and spewed over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
- New research shows that male bluefin killifish have varying colorations and markings on their fins to signal different messages. Even though most field guides show one fin of the killifish to be blue, researchers found they also came in yellow and red. Science Daily
Oceana in Europe recently concluded their month-long expedition to the Canary Islands, which documented a vast amount of biodiversity around the island of El Hierro. The expedition aimed to map and gather more information about seamounts north of Lanzarote, the easternmost Canary Island, and around Sahara, the southernmost point of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone, to help grow the body of knowledge about these areas and advance their protective measures.
- New research shows that deep-sea microbes use vitamin B12 to break down toxic chemicals on the seafloor. Scientists that found microbes using this vitamin reduced the toxicity of dangerous polychlorinated biphenyals (PCBs), dioxins, and other dangerous substances. Forbes
- A 16-foot-long baby humpback whale was released after becoming entangled in a net off Queensland, Australia. Humpback whales are currently migrating back to their feeding grounds in Antarctica. ABC Australia
October is National Seafood Month, a time to raise awareness for sustainable fisheries and celebrate the benefits of seafood in one’s diet.
When you go to a restaurant and think you’re ordering a white tuna or filet of wild-caught salmon, there’s a good chance the fish on your dinner plate is not what it seems. Numerous studies have uncovered that seafood fraud—the dishonest practice of swapping one type of seafood for another—occurs on a global scale in all steps of the seafood supply chain. Seafood fraud studies have been undertaken in 29 countries and on all continents except Antarctica, and every study have uncovered seafood fraud to some degree.
- The Government Accountability Office has called out federal agencies for not implementing key parts of a 2009 law on ocean acidification, like estimating research costs. Some say that the news is troubling, especially since the federal government plays a key role in addressing ocean acidification. The Hill
Update: October 15, 2014
As the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) gears up to meet this November to discuss the future of highly migratory species like bluefin tuna, swordfish, and sharks, Oceana in Europe is sounding the alarm on the European Union for not taking measurable action to help recover Mediterranean swordfish. Mediterranean swordfish are highly overfished and have declined steeply by 70 percent from 1980s levels, according to assessments taken this year.
You may have heard of nudibranchs before, a group of soft-bodied mollusks that are just as quirky looking as their name suggests. More than 3,000 nudibranch species exist—commonly known as sea slugs—and dot shallow water habitat around the world with their vibrant colors, shapes, and sizes.